A Mika Review: Rustic Melody (Rustic #1) by Nic Starr

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Rustic MelodyAdam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country.

He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway.

Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles.

The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime.

This was my first novel by Nic Starr, and it was okay for me. The writing was okay, and the story was just okay for me. It was kind of flat, and one noted. I did like the characters a lot, but I felt like the story was very predictable. Joey was such a sweet and innocent character. He had a lot of stuff on his shoulders. I did like how he stepped up for his family, and family was a big thing to him. To be 21 years old he was extremely unselfish. Not once did he feel like “whoa is me”. He wasn’t bitter, or resentful for having his life surrounded by his family needs.

I liked Adam as well, but Adam was stuck in fear caused by his father. I get wanting to have your family be proud of him and whereas Joey was unselfish, I felt like Adam doesn’t really know what he wants. I feel like his idea that he comes up with was Joey’s. He brought it up, honestly it feel like Adam is stuck in his life. It’s not a bad thing he’s 23 years old, he has a while to try to figure out his life. I do think they were sweet together, but I didn’t really feel any passion. Again, I just read through, no ups and downs for me. Emotionally it was flat. I would have to see more emotions and passion, or declarations from the characters. I think it was okay for a first in a series.

Cover Art by Book Cover by Design: This was a nice cover. The couple met by Adam playing so I appreciate the music as is.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 174 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2016
Original TitleRustic Melody
ASINB01A7ONMXU
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRustic #1

A Mika Review: A Serious Thing (Will & Patrick #1.5) by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A Serious ThingPatrick has a plan, and he’ll go to great lengths to see it through.

After three weeks apart due to work and school commitments, he and Will are finally getting to spend some time together. Patrick is staying with Will over the Christmas holidays, and he intends to tell him how he feels on Christmas Day. It’s going to be perfect.

But of course, Patrick’s plans don’t always go smoothly….

Hello, Annabelle Jacobs? Where is the rest of my story at? Why did I feel it ended 83 percent into the story? I really enjoy these two together. Hopefully A.J makes it up to us with a full length novel some time soon. I really like the Christmas spirit between these two. You can see the love that they have for each other. I really love that both of them wanted to say those 3 magic words to each other. It was adorable how they kept stopping each other. Ben!!!! I really like Ben, I kinda hope we get a guy to stump Ben and turns him completely out. His character is amazing, so freaking supportive. All in all this was a good little piece of heaven between Will & Patrick. They had an amazing first Christmas as a couple, and I think we’ll see more of them.

Cover Art by Anna Sikorska: LOL, I can’t remember which guy this is suppose to be, but nice eye candy!

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here
Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages
Published December 18th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Serious Thing
ISBN 1634768159 (ISBN13: 9781634768153)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesWill & Patrick

A Mika Review: So Into You (The PI Guys #2) by S.E. Harmon

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

So Into YouScreenwriter Noah Ashley has a few four-letter words for his agent when she suggests he improve his script by shadowing a PI. Still, because he’s an artist dedicated to his craft and she knows where the bodies are buried, he agrees. Then he spends a little time with the gorgeous PI, and suddenly it seems like a really good plan. The PI doesn’t seem to entirely love the idea, but Noah has never been afraid to go after what he wants.

PI Drew Rodriguez is used to people depending on him. He’s the classic rock for his family. Responsible. Dependable. The classic rock would never succumb to the borderline sleazy temptation of friends with benefits, no matter how sexy that temptation is. Drew is looking for something enduring.

Despite Drew’s misgivings, it’s not long before they’ve got all the requisites for friends with benefits going. Friendly, good conversation? Check. Fun times in and out of bed? Check. Hot, electrolyte-sapping sex? Double check. Falling in love? Yeah. About that….

  **Le Sigh**, I really had so many high hopes of this book after Stay With Me (The PI Guys, #1). That book was so freaking good. For that to be S.E. Harmon’s first book, she knocked it out the park! I was captivated by the humor, the love, and the insecurities between both characters. I fell in love with those two guys. Drew was awesome in that  installment, and when Noah finally got going, it was great.

Here’s the biggest issue it was too much filler information being thrown at us. It was too in my opinion. I was extremely bored in the beginning. It took a long time for Drew and Noah to meet and connect. I did like Drew and his family dynamics. I think that story line worked well seeing as his characters is an all or nothing kind of guy. Noah definitely grew on me. He had a few issues that he needed to work on, and I’m confused on why we didn’t see it happen in the book if he made it such an issue in the beginning. I didn’t get the closure I think we deserved off that plot line at all.

MACKENZIE!!!! I love Mac, he is hilarious. I think every moment he was in the story I was grinning from ear to ear. It was nice seeing him and Jordan show up at times through the story. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a sequel to their story. Outside of all the boring things, I truly liked Noah and Drew together. They were good together, and you can definitely see the love come out between those two. Sure the writing feels a bit on the comedy side at times, but I would rather have a smile on my face instead of a scowl. So all in all it was okay, I really wish we could have cut most of the filler material. It was definitely rated higher to me.

Cover Art by L.C. Chase, I liked the cover and thought it was hot. My only thing was that I didn’t know which guy it was suppose to be.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 326 pages
Published January 4th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163476806X (ISBN13: 9781634768061)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe PI Guys #2

Best of 2015 Review: A Mika Review: Definitely Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed

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Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  ★★★★★

Definitely Maybe Yours coverSeattle-based baker Craig Oliver leads a life that is happily routine: baking cupcakes for an enormous family reunion, managing Sucre Coeur for its frequently absent owner, and closing out his day with a pint at the local pub. He has a kind heart, a knack for pastry, and a weakness for damaged people.

Habitual playboy Alex Scheff is looking to drown his sorrows, but instead discovers that he may have a weakness for Englishmen who carry cookies in their pockets. Can a seemingly incompatible pair find the recipe for love in a relationship they claim is casual?

*Le Sigh*

Craig Oliver is amazing. Everything about him is amazing, from his English mannerisms, to his simplistic views, even his ability to bake with alcohol when his heart gets shattered is amazing. I really love this character.

I’ve never read anything by this author before, and it was the black guy on the cover which sold me. It was also the character of Craig. I love that he was an English born and bred and living in the States. I didn’t know what to expect from this. I admit, while reading this, there were some cringe worthy moments on how things were written, point of view changes, and the general tone in the first 40%. Certain things bothered me, I got disappointed. I didn’t like the secondary characters having a point of view in the story. I strictly wanted Craig and Alex. Plus it felt a bit disjointed, and sort of choppy when switching point of views as well. All of those were big no no’s in my book.

But nothing could deter me from the story itself. It’s two guys who did not want to date, just be casual who instead realizes that they are in love but it’s not easy. While Craig is open, honest, and free; Alex is the complete opposite. It’s like pulling teeth with him. The first morning after was difficult.

I loved the meeting of them. I mean who brings out a baked good at a bar? It was completely innocent, original and real sweet moment. I like that my heart fell for Craig at that moment. Being in both of these guys heads was an amazing  experience. Craig was just being with Alex and it was sweet. I can’t get over how good of a character Lissa Reed was able to write, Alex was angsty. He had his reservations but with good cause. Throughout most of the book he did not want to talk of his ex. I kept thinking what happened? Unfortunately he never got to explain to Craig one on one before it blew up in his face. Here’s where I really fell in love. Their breakup. Yes I know it sounds callous, but they each had to realize what happened, how it happened, and what the other means to each other. Jeez that moment where strong Craig finally cracks in front of his friends had me in tears, and then closed off Alex breaks down to a 9 month old Kira and I couldn’t stop crying. It was sweet. Dude, then Craig brought this cute Yorkie name Fitz, by that point I was a total goober, because Craig gave the most beautiful reasons why he loves Alex. I’m giving this 5 stars because I loved Craig and Alex relationship, it wasn’t easy and it’s definitely how a relationship goes. I’m not doing it for the writing, or choppy sentences, or the instant point of view changes. I’m doing it for the romantic in me.  I want to see more of them. Maybe a year down the line, when Alex is Alex again, and is learning to love himself.

 Cover Art by Buckeyegrrl Design. The cover is the reason why I wanted to read it. I think he’s gorgeous, he looks exactly like Craig is described. Maybe a little younger than he’s supposed to be, but I still like it.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 296 pages
Expected publication: August 11th 2015 by Interlude Press
ISBN13 9781941530405
edition language English

A Mika Review: Indigo Road by R.J. Jones

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Indigo RoadTwo best friends take a year off to find themselves… and end up finding each other.

Joshua Simpson has just finished four years at Purdue University, but that’s not why he’s buzzing with excitement. Once they’ve said goodbye to their families, Josh and his best friend Alex are taking off to discover America in an old but reliable VW van, planning on not seeing snow for an entire year.

Josh has always considered himself straight—except for that one time in college—so when he and Alex are living in such close proximity on the road, he’s unsure what these new feelings mean. Is it because they’re spending 24/7 together, or is it something deeper? And does it really matter since Josh has only ever seen Alex with women?

While in Oregon, Josh meets Johnno, a sexy but confusing Aussie surfer. While having an impromptu surfing lesson, Johnno helps Josh realize who he is and what he wants—but Alex’s reaction leaves Josh confused.

From a Montana ranch to the bright lights and dangerous streets of Los Angeles, to a dark and lonely deserted highway in Alabama, join Josh and Alex as they drive around the US, discovering not only who they are, but who they can be together.

Bored is not even the word to describe how I felt by this story. I didn’t connect one time to these characters. For me it was no highs or lows, just straight line from beginning to end. Neither character made an impact on me in the story. I just felt like a passenger on a road trip around the country with them. Actually these two felt like brothers to me. I didn’t get the friends to lover’s vibe at all. If anything; they’ve claimed to be friends as long as they have then this situation should have happened differently. It just seems like it just happened.

I didn’t buy Josh’s come to Jesus moment about his sexuality. Not if he claimed to be this “big man towards the ladies”. I’m not a gay man, so I’m unsure if it happens like this, but his coming to terms with his sexuality felt unbelievable. I would be okay if he never questioned it if we had some sort of past on his liking guys. It seemed sporadic at best. I don’t buy into Alex’s character as well. He had this hot/cold demeanor that had me questioning who was the true him. Other issues were their physical descriptions that seemed so similar as we can see from the cover. Besides the height issue, and the less blonde hair again I felt like I was reading about two brothers. It never gained momentum to me. I felt like the pacing was stagnant throughout the story. Some of the plot seemed random. A couple of the issues in the story I felt like it could have made some ground but it needed to be acted on.

All in all, this was a complete miss for me. I really do like the author’s previous work so I’d definitely read more from her, I just did not care for this one.

Cover Art by Meredith Russell. I’m not really enjoying the cover. For me their was no physical differences in the guys so it seems like to bros hanging out to me.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 175 pages
Published December 4th 2015 by Vivid Blue Press
ASINB01867I9M4
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Mika Advent Story Review: Not the Best Day by Brynn Stein

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryHenry hates Christmas shopping. Hates it with a passion. But here he is, downtown shopping two days before Christmas. It would almost be bearable except for the jerk in the trapper hat and plaid scarf who keeps turning up like a bad penny, apparently with no other goal in life than to make Henry’s already crappy day even crappier. Henry doesn’t know what’s up with the guy, but Henry wishes he’d just go away. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards, however. In a day full of surprises, the biggest is yet to come.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

 This suffered from lack of development. The couple doesn’t even make an appearance together until the last 4% maybe. Until then it’s a story about one guy’s hectic Christmas shopping, and another guy seeming aloof during the holidays. They explained everything, but it seemed out of place in this story. Neither characters were interesting enough & they seemed very thrown together. No chemistry even when they are together. Sadly this missed the mark for me.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RRVQPK
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A Mika Advent Story Review: Old Acquaintance by Avon Gale

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Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars 

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryAndrew Starling thought when he sold his medical database software to a national corporation, it would finally give him and his wife the financial security needed to build their dream home in the exclusive, wealthy community of Ponte Vedra, Florida. But Andrew’s wife leaves him for another man before the ink dries on the contract, leaving Andrew to enjoy the fruits of his labors—and their sprawling, oceanfront home—all alone. Despite being convinced he has nothing much to celebrate, Andrew goes to the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club’s annual New Year’s Eve party… and meets Elias Rivas, the young, good-looking server who’s always had his eye on Andrew. It might be the new beginning Andrew didn’t even know he needed.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

Short and sexy story between two guys. I’ll admit the beginning was a little rocky to me. Andrew seemed boring, and a bit dreadful. He didn’t seem angry about his divorce at all. He seemed more perplexed by it. I thought that was funny, I can almost picture him face screwed up in frustration trying to figure out why. I liked Elias character, it was very sure of himself and I’m glad to see that for this age-gap story. I liked them together, they were hot. Seems like it’s a good HFN. I’d love to see more of them in the future.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It  Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 37 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RSH5M2
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A Mika Review: The Bruise-Black Sky (More Heat Than the Sun #5) by John Wiltshire

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Rating:  4 star out of 5 stars 

The Bruise Black Sky coverBen usually overlooks Nikolas’s occasionally jarring dissonance. Not this time. A deep rift, a terrible lie, separates them. Eleven thousand miles from Nikolas, in New Zealand, it’s bitter winter as Ben films the tragic story of a post-apocalyptic gladiator, a victim of his own personal darkness. But on receiving a death threat, Ben suspects the truth of actor Oliver Whitestone’s suicide. Someone doesn’t want this movie made. It’s fortunate for Ben, therefore, that dissonance is a state of unrest, a longing for completion. As if Nikolas would stay at home in disgrace while Ben Rider-Mikkelsen becomes the target of a crazed stalker

Talk about secrets! Wow! Everyone is keeping a secret in this book. I thought this was one of the funniest books out the series. Nik was hilarious. Nik who obviously doesn’t think he is good with kids is sadly mistaken. This kid Miles astounded me. Him and Nik was so good together. In my hopeless mind I was picturing Nik with a son. HAH, I have this warm gooey feeling about him doing well. I hope I see Miles in future books. He was adorably cute. This picks up a year or two later from the last book. As usual something drastic happens for Nik to go back to Aleskey Special Forces Nik! Ha, I said it. He went full metal jacket. Ben who has his memories back is back to being Ben kind of. I felt like it was something off with him. I get it now reading the book. As usual they have their couple spats, and one does this wrong, and the other go pouts. This book, they were not playing around with each other. I mean, some indifferences had my heart beating wondering, if this was it. Could Nik do anything ever so awful that Ben would leave him? It’s a couple things in this book, that’s awful, but I find myself always forgiving Nik. I’m a complete tosser for Nik!

Nik and Ben in AMERICA! It was funny from their view point. Nik loves Ben with everything he has, and I think like every other book so far he shows it. He might not have the words, but his actions speak extremely louder than anything else. Of course we got to see Emilia, and her grandmother, as well as a few other familiar faces. I enjoyed them. I liked the plot as well. I really liked when Nik met with the police lady, it was family because they were both being stoic to each other. It was parts that was slow to me, and other parts I was intrigued by. I will continue reading this series because I love them. The shocking revelations in the book had me like WTF. That last 25% was the best ever! I can’t wait until the next book is out.

Cover Art by Deana Jamroz.  Now that I’ve had time to read it, I understand the cover. I don’t like it or dislike it really. It’s okay and continues with the type of cover of the previous books.

Sales Links:  MLR Press |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published March 19th 2015 by ManLove Romance Press

A Mika Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Breakaway coverDrafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

 

Clueless, sincere, and adorable. Those are the three words I would use to describe Lane Courtnall!!! I have a semi crush on him. Gawd he’s perfect, his naivety is so freaking adorable. I liked him a lot from the very beginning. I liked Jared as well, and I was happy how his character and Lane’s were able to mesh perfectly together. I really liked the story, the pacing as well as the writing. This is my first book by Avon Gale, and it will never be my last. I requested this book on the whim of all the great things that I’ve heard about her books. I’ve yet to read Let the Wrong Light In. I am going to wait as long as I can to. I’ve had it since it was released and it’s going on my holiday break to read.

If I can have one book wish, I would wish for Avon Gale’s Lane and T.J. Klune’s Gus to be in a book together!!! Total awesomeness is what that would be. I’m not a hockey fan at all. Sure I live in a hockey city, but it’s something I don’t understand. I really liked that she was true to her subject. I wasn’t as lost as I would have thought I would be. Avon did a really good job between the love of the mc’s and the game that they both love.

I completely read this book in one sitting. I liked the Teen Wolf reference; I loved Zoe as a character. She is a strong female secondary character. Both guys dealt with problems from their childhoods, and they kind of bonded over being solidarity creatures in their adult life. They thrive on being apart of a team. Together is better for these two, and I really appreciated how they were able to fall in love. I like grand gestures, and of course the support of being in a relationship; so I was really happy that Jared was able to find his happiness. I’m super excited for book two because Riley interests me a ton, and Ethan just seems like this great protector. I’m already gushing for book two.

Cover Art by Aaron Anderson: I think this cover is fantastic for sports fans; it’s nice to see to opposing teams fall in love. Definitely liked the lighting.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon |Buy it Here

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published November 27th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634764865
edition languageEnglish
seriesScoring Chances #1

A Mika Review: Reaping Havoc by A.J. Rose

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Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

 

Health care reform is dead. Concept photo.No one asked Mitch Seeker if he wanted to be a grim reaper. He didn’t sign up for the rumors, the lack of friends, or the erratic schedule. He doesn’t want to go through life watching people die. Especially not a man he loves. Mitch’s solution is simple—don’t fall in love. He’ll never have to explain why he doesn’t age or why he’s around death so often. Most of all, he will never be a widower.

But when his head is turned by world-class skier Nate Koehn, Mitch believes he may have the answer. If the soul attached to Nate is any indication, Mitch has found himself another reaper, in which case, his undeniable feelings don’t have to be suppressed. However, the spectral tag-a-long is only the beginning of Nate’s burdens. After a catastrophic loss, Nate is no stranger to grief and the hole it leaves behind.

The question they both must answer is loud and clear: is the pain of losing love worse than the pain of never having loved at all?

A.J. Rose can definitely write. I really like her consistency and pacing when I read her books. This was a good introduction to the series. An excellent start to a Grim Reaper series. I’m a paranormal fan, and I enjoyed the way she went about it. I like the history aspect that she intertwined her characters in.

The MCs work well with one another. Mitch Seeker and Nate Koehn are a definite match made in Heaven. The humor is dry and morbid kind of. I enjoyed Mitch’s dry sense of humor. Mitch hails from a long line of Seeker men who ultimately become Grim Reapers at the age of 24. He is so caught up in his job that he doesn’t look for love. Well enter one Nate Koehn who escapes life to come to Caperville, Colorado to mourn & move on in his life.

I really enjoyed the back and forth between the two. I liked the supporting cast. Mitch’s family and Wes were hilarious. Even Tate was funny at times. You could almost forget that it isn’t a contemporary story, at times it reads like one, but then the paranormal element comes at you. I really like the combination of both worlds. It wouldn’t be A.J. Rose without some form of tears. That ending was well written. I was on pins and needles about what would happened. Katherine tried to pull the wool over our eyes!!!! I think most people would be surprised by how good it is. Can’t wait until the next book.

Cover Art by Elizabeth Mackey’s Graphic Designs, I liked the cover a lot. It was cute in a parody way regarding Mitch’s outlook on the situation.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by The Grim Writer Press
original titleReaping Havoc
ASINB017UYTI9M
edition languageEnglish